Controversial Haryana MLA Gopal Kanda has been acquitted by a Delhi court in the 2012 suicide of a former airhostess who was employed with his now-defunct airline.
Special Judge Vikas Dhull of the Rouse Avenue Court also acquitted co-accused Aruna Chadha in the case, saying the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubts.
Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with Mr Kanda’s MLDR airlines, who was later elevated as a director of one of his companies, was found dead on August 5, 2012 at her residence in Delhi.
In her August 4 suicide note, she had alleged “harassment” by Kanda, 46, and another person. Six months after her death, Geetika Sharma’s mother killed herself in the family’s two-bedroom apartment in north-west Delhi.
Mr Kanda, an influential politician and businessman, was a minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government. He was forced to resign as minister of state for home following the registration of the case.
Mr Kanda, 46, was facing charges under various sections of IPC, including criminal intimidation, destruction of evidence, forgery among other charges.
The trial court had also framed charges of rape and unnatural sex against him but the Delhi High Court quashed these.
Geetika Sharma joined Gopal Kanda’s MDLR in 2006. After the airline closed, she moved to Dubai in 2010 to work with Emirates Airlines.
But Mr Kanda allegedly forged letters to ensure that she was made to return to India just five months later. He then blackmailed her to once again work for him, her family had alleged.